cover image Breakneck


Erica Spindler, . . St. Martin?s, $23.95 (342pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36390-1

Det. Kitt Lundgren and her partner, Mary Catherine Riggio, of the Rockford, Ill., Violent Crimes Bureau pursue a serial killer ripped from Internet urban legend in this unconvincing thriller from bestseller Spindler (Copycat ). When Riggio’s too-good-to-be-true fiancé is caught in the line of fire, the shooting at first appears to be unrelated to the murder spree of Breakneck, who targets computer-savvy 20-somethings. Of course, the connection is immediately obvious to readers, if not the veteran staff of the VCB. Lundgren’s preoccupied with mending her broken marriage while ambling toward career burnout, and Riggio doesn’t hesitate to throw out the procedural rulebook, eschewing her police training in a desperate search for the truth. Spindler strays from her comfort zone in tackling the mysterious world of cyber crime. Casting disaffected youth as criminal masterminds doesn’t ring true, while descriptions of technology and its applications are painstakingly overexplained. (Jan.)